Saturday, January 19, 2008

Yummy Malkin's Jam

When I went home to NW Ontario for my gram's memorial service I wanted to make sure I picked up some of that yummy Malkin's Strawberry Jam that I love so much. I had been out for quite awhile. There is truly nothing like it. When I went into Ronning's in Baudette, MN(just over the border) to pick some up I was surprised that the label had changed and the lady at the counter said they'd been bought by a large conglomerate. It was just too much for me. Does EVERYTHING have to change? Even my damn jam? As a side note, don't bash me for buying the jam in the states, I was in a time crunch and have always in the past bought it on the Canadian side! I'm proud to be Canadian.

So yesterday I popped open my can of jam. Yes, that's the way things should be, jam should come in a can, not a bloody glass jar. They give you a nice plastic sealer for it after you open it. That jam has sat on my gram's kitchen table (where generations of Blight descendants have sat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, blueberries and pastis for over 50 years) since as long as I can remember. I wanted to ensure that the taste was the same. I enjoy my Malkin's jam with peanut butter on a Ritz. Yummmm. As I popped the first cracker in my mouth, my taste buds did a happy dance. Nothing had changed. Whew, the flavor was still there. But what happened to Malkins?

It appears they were bought by some large company in Southern Ontario called E.D. Smith. I guess that Malkin's was a family owned production line in B.C. who had employed generations of local Abbottsford families. E.D. Smith had elected not to reproduce the jam, not enough volume, then they were bought by Treehouse Farms, an even larger company. The story can be read on the links below, it's interesting and frankly is typical of today's economic world. You'll be happy to know that it is being produced by a small little family owned production line in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan, oh, that's right, all of Saskatchewan is the middle of nowhere.


The story http://www.canadasfood.com/history_products/canadas_jam.php
The new production facility http://www.greatexcursions.com/blogs/heartland_canada/2005/07/success-runs-wild-at-southeys-last.html
The first purchase and as you can see, what a company says during an acquisition is completely different than the end reality result: http://www.degroote.mcmaster.ca/News/pdfs/2006-04-29_EDSmith.pdf

2 comments:

Canada's Jam said...

Hey Dawn:
You made my day. I am Mark from Canada's Food. We used to distribute malkins in the U.S. before the factory was sold. We have taken a huge gamble and it was so good to read your story. Also...had never read the stories you left links for. I am forwarding your message onto Barb and Barry at Last Mountain Farms. Last Mountain is working hard for improvements and have also invested heavily. Sorry to hear about your Grandmother. I am thinking I probably knew her as we are only 25 miles from Baudette.

Would you mind if I linked to your story?
Cheers,
Mark

Justin said...

Dawn,

Kudos to you for your insight on truly the world's greatest jam. From the Land of Lincoln (Illinois) comes another Malkin Jam lover who so appreciates your exquisite taste in the only True Jam of the world. God bless you.

Dwight